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Is the P-1B visa for entertainers right for me?

Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Drake, Sandra Oh – these are just some of the many Canadians who moved to the U.S. for stardom. If you have aspirations in the entertainment industry, you may want to understand your options from making the move from Canada to Hollywood.

What is the P-1B visa?

The P-1B visa is for performers coming to the United States as part of a group of entertainers. These visas are for temporary periods, where their performances will be part of the stay.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the group must be internationally recognized and have been established for over one year. In addition, they must be well known as outstanding performers in their discipline. The law also states that at least 75% of the group must have been together for at least a year.

There are some exceptions. Circus performers may be exempt from the requirements to have been established for one year and be internationally recognized. However, they must be coming to the U.S. to join a nationally known circus.

What is the application process?

Applicants must fill out Form I-129, a petition for a non-immigrant worker. There will be fees and documentation requirements. Also needed is a consultation, if possible, from an appropriate labor organization to prove the establishment and performances of the group.

Documents needed when applying

Applicants may need the following documents:

  • Written consultation from labor organization
  • Dates and itinerary of performances
  • A copy of the contract between the petitioner and beneficiary
  • Evidence that the group is internationally recognized
  • Evidence the group has been performing regularly for at least a year
  • Statement listing each member and dates they joined the group

After petition approval

Once the visa petition receives approval, you may apply at a U.S. consulate or embassy. Form I-129 is also used if you extend your stay or change your employment or status.